TRA defends operation of historic steam engines

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 2017-08-08

Steam locomotives in Taiwan with their puffing chimneys and piercing whistles hark back

A steam locomotive runs along the Alishan Forest Railway, a popular tourist spot in southern Taiwan. (Photo Courtesy Forestry Bureau) (CNA)

to a bygone age and are popular with tourists. But recently there have also been complaints of air and noise pollution related to the attractions.

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) on Tuesday defended its operation of five steam locomotives based in the central county of Changhua. Lai Hsing-lung, head of the TRA’s Rolling Stock Department, said the trains run on low-sulfur smoke-free coal. He said this fuel is more expensive but is entirely consumed. It is thus not as much of a pollutant as some environmentalists may suppose.

Lai also said that the locomotives have been restored at great expense of time and effort and cannot simply be mothballed.    [FULL  STORY]

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